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"Strange things happen," said the Duke, dazed and worn in the fighting chair. He draped the broken rod about his neck. "That's a new kind of lei," he said. "If you can't break the record, break the rod."
And, proud and regretful, we towed the fish to Kailua, beak riding absurdly on a pillow, throat gravely throbbing,-great blue ball of an eye wildly regarding the sun. The Duke said he would remember the marlin for the rest of his life. He spoke with gravity, as though the fish were a going-away present.
When he was hoisted' on the beam scale, Duke's marlin weighed 441 pounds. He would easily have won the tournament for Kenny Brown. As it was, Kawaihae finished second with its 596-pounder, getting an additional 100 points for biggest fish of the day and 100 more for biggest of the tournament. The eventual winner was the Balboa ( Calif.) Angling Club team No. 1 (Elmer Hehr, Betty Tucker and Joe Koons). Fishing from various charter boats, they caught a 147-and a 443-pound marlin on 130-pound test and a 192-pounder on 80 test, the latter carrying a bonus of 30%.
Balboa No. 1 also boated two ahi (Allison, or yellowfin, tuna), which were entered in a separate competition. The largest ahi of the tournament weighed 241 pounds (the all-tackle record is 266� pounds) and was boated by Thomas Waldon Jr. of the Pearl Harbor Naval Station.
It was a successful, easy-going and well-run tournament. Forty-one marlin were taken and none was smaller than 42 pounds; 10 were more than 200 pounds and five more than 300.
Perhaps the most notable catch of all was made by Jeanne Martin, an exceedingly pretty young lady who has been fishing seriously for only a year, or since she married a fisherman. Jeanne got herself a 221-pound marlin on 50-pound test line, which is 13� pounds shy of the Pacific blue world record for both men and women.
"It's a ridiculous sport, but I adore it," Jeanne said. It is. It reminds me, in its curious mixture of boredom and kicks, of when I was a kid and the worst baseball player in the northeastern U.S. I was, therefore, banished to right field, where the fewest balls are hit and the grass is never mowed; in this Siberia for the unfittest they at least give you some hay to chew on. I would stand out there, remote, restless and brooding, until a fly ball would miraculously descend like a falling star and I would be charged with excitement and then horrified that I might drop it. So it is with marlin fishing: for the 41 fish boated there were 254 strikes, 155 hook-ups—and a lot of long boat rides in the desolate reaches of right field.